During summer while away from school many children lose of some of their academic skills that help them to succeed at their classes. Loss of these academic skills can be even worse for a child with ADHD. As a parent, what can you do to prevent this loss during their summer vacation? What activities or outings can help? Honestly, just about anything that keeps your children thinking and engaged. Did you know that some studies have shown that kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games. 6 hours of screen time a day and possibly more because it is summer and they do not have school. For activities, try the following suggestions.
1. Play fun games with your child that enhances memory and attention. These games may include Concentration Card Game (memory), I Spy (attention), and board games (socialization, memory, graciousness, and a host of other skills).
2. Enroll your child in a summer camp that they could enjoy to boost self-esteem. Churches and community centers offer inexpensive summer camps in painting, drawing, crafts, and more. Libraries offer reading camps too. Your child can improve academically by participating in events that require math and reading.
3. Encourage physical activity and avoid too much computer and TV time. Activities such as karate and dance can be great activities for your child, as they both require psychophysical integration. Research tells us that physical activity promotes learning. The brain tends to learn more when the body is active.
4. Walks are fun for kids as they get to experience the fresh air and run around in a new environment, or giving your child a bike is a good way of keeping them active and helping them to learn about the responsibility of taking care of it.
5. If your family travels for a summer vacation talk to your kids about history, culture or geography of the new place they are visiting. Explore and do more than just the usual tourist traps, find out where the locals eat or where they go to have fun and take your children, exposure to diverse ideas helps them to learn, grow, and become more complete adults that appreciate what is around them.
6. Spend time researching your local city on the internet for fun activities for children and you are sure to find several listed and many are inexpensive or free. Local community centers are typically a good resource for fun and academic activities.
7. Purchase workbooks from teacher supply stores that are grade appropriate or talk to your child’s teacher about academic work that could prepare them for school next year. Then do a little bit of academic work each week during the summer.
8. Summer is a great time to visit museums, particularly children’s museums. Being scorching hot outside nothing is better than being indoors for a few hours while children roam, play and learn.
9. Help your children to organize and host a summer party. Often children make friends at school but lose contact with them over the summer. Plan, prepare and invite several of their school friends over for a party. They can be involved in picking out ideas, themes, foods, decorations, decorating and being responsible around the house as the party is coming together.
Remember that even though you are trying to help your little one avoid losing some academic ground over the summer, that taking a break is a good thing. Rest and recuperation can go a long way towards being motivated and ready to hit the ground running next fall.
© Copyright 2011 by Jeffrey Gallup. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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